By: Kim Holmes, Personal Trainer and founder of My Fit Coach
I recently did a talk at a local business about the benefits of exercise. I looked around the room of mainly women and saw their eyes glaze over as I talked about cardiovascular health, metabolism and increased energy.
I had lost them…
I had to switch gears and switch fast.
So I asked them straight up. “Do you guys find this overwhelming??” One girl chimed in and said she felt so guilty that she never did exercise even though she knew she should. Another told me how she’d tried exercising in the past but that she never really enjoyed it. In fact I believe she used the words “hated it”.
So I posed the question to them. “What if we change the word from “exercise” to “movement?” What if I just told you to move your body on a regular basis rather than do X amount of formal exercise each week?”
The reaction was a huge sigh of relief.
That’s when the juicy conversation started. One woman admitted that she loved swimming but felt guilty because it wasn’t the type of exercise she was told she “should do”. When we changed the word from exercise to movement, it changed their perception completely.
Somewhere along the line, the word exercise started having negative connotations surrounding it. Whenever we hear it, we think of bootcamp style, sweat til you vomit type of training sessions. In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be that but if the word freaks you out, try a new one. The word movement doesn’t sound so scary and punishing. It takes away the pressure and guilt that I believe holds us back from getting started in the first place.
So how does one get started on a “movement” practice?
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Find a way to move that YOU love
Remember when you were a kid and you used to skip on the playground? Swim at the lake or play hopscotch? Moving your body feels really good and I believe we all know that deep down inside. How do you like to move? Maybe you love to walk and hate to run. That’s cool…then walk. Maybe you love yoga but zumba freaks you out. Also OK! Find a way to move that you love and do it regularly.
2. Identify what YOU love about it
When you’ve chosen your activity of choice, ask yourself why this is your pick? How does it make you feel during and after? What benefits do you get from this activity. Remember there is no right or wrong answer here. If it works for you and makes YOU feel good, then it’s all good.
3. Change your words from “should” to “choose”
Remember when your Mom would ask you to clean your room but you didn’t do it simply because she told you to? If she didn’t ask you to do it, you would probably get so annoyed that you couldn’t find any of your stuff and do it anyway.
When we look at exercise/movement as something that we “should” do, our immediate reaction is to bolt. When we look at it as an option that we “choose” because we enjoy it, everything changes. We are personally invested in this. We are doing it because we want to not because someone told us we “should”. And while you’re at it, let’s just get rid of that should word altogether!
So all this is good and great, but what does this have to do with fertility?
A regular movement practice not only makes you feel good it is also one of the best things you can do for your fertility. Here are a few reasons why:
- Movement improves blood flow to all areas of the body including your reproductive organs, allowing nutrients to better access this area and therefore better potential for healthy organs.
- It helps you sleep better which is a key component for optimal hormone balance
- Regular movement helps with stress management and helping to keep those hormones balanced
- It increases blood flow to the brain and releases endorphins which help combat depression and anxiety
The bottom line is this: It’s your body and you can choose to move it however you’d like. You don’t have to be a slave to the rules. When you let go of the guilt, you may find something you love. If you’re not sure where to start, something as simple as walking may do the trick. Play around with it and get curious about what you like and maybe don’t like.
Take the pressure off.
Let go of the exercise guilt and just move instead.
Kim Holmes is a Personal Trainer and the Owner of
My Fit Coach. She helps busy women care for their bodies (and minds) through Online Fitness and Nutrition Programs. She understands that you don’t have hours to spend at the gym to look and feel great. Her Online Programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life.